Over the last year, the concepts associated with gaming and the Metaverse have become intertwined. Gaming is and will be one of the major tentpoles of the Metaverse. As highlighted in one of my previous blogs, Meta, helmed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will use its Oculus VR technology to realise its Metaverse. For many, gaming in the Metaverse is associated with super immersive technologies like VR and even AR. However, many CEO’s within the gaming industry have other ideas about what a Metaverse means and may look like. This article will outline what the different gaming Metaverses may look like, using case study examples of various games that may try to create their Metaverse.
The VR Gaming Metaverse
Virtual reality technology is one-way video game companies will try and create the Metaverse. Companies such as Meta using Oculus technology and other VR-focused companies such as HTC Vive will create fully immersive Metaverses. We already see this with Meta’s latest VR game named Horizon Worlds. Although the game was released with mixed reactions, it was the first step by Meta to release a game that is fully immersive with VR. The game allowed players to explore virtual worlds and communicate with other players in the game world through different social activities. As a result, Meta and many other VR companies will realise the Metaverse through virtual reality gaming. Despite VR not being quite there yet to establish a fully functioning VR Metaverse, we should expect the Metaverse to take shape using VR in the next decade.
The Community Driven Gaming Metaverse
Gaming Metaverses may also take the form of a sandbox, community-led experience. The SandBox is a classic example of this. The SandBox is a community-driven gaming ecosystem that is fully decentralised. It is built on the Ethereum Blockchain and is one of the more popular open-world sandbox experiences that use Blockchain technology. The SandBox also has its SAND cryptocurrency that you can use to buy virtual land in the game and purchase other cosmetical items. Fortnite is another game that may create its sandbox-style gaming metaverse. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney (the company that owns Fortnite), Fortnite may create its sandbox-style Metaverse.
The company looks to expand the number of people playing the game to over one billion in the future. Likewise, the game looks to expand its 3D building technology using the game engine Unreal to help give companies an online 3D presence. For Tim Sweeney, gaining around one billion users and utilising its 3D game worlds to create immersive worlds will help Fornite create a sandbox Metaverse that is community-led. Roblox is another example of a community-led sandbox-style gaming Metaverse that may take shape in the future. Roblox is one of the biggest games on the planet. It currently has 43 million active users daily. The game operates using an online currency named Robux. Robux enables players to buy items and build their Roblox experience. Roblox, much like Fortnite, is looking to expand its user base and build up its Metaverse like experience by hosting famous artists and companies within its virtual world.
Furthermore, the company also bought Guilded. A startup focused on building community-based tools to expand its sandbox. As a result, companies such as The SandBox, Fortnite and Roblox are all trying to develop their own Metaverse experiences without immersive virtual reality technology. Instead, they are focusing on sandbox community-led experiences. Likewise, these companies will be under tough competition to realise these Metaverses, each trying to grow their communities while establishing their platforms as virtual worlds.
In conclusion, we should expect the gaming Metaverses to take many forms. As a result, the gaming Metaverse will be both virtual reality experiences and virtual community-driven sandboxes. It will be interesting to see in the future if these Sandboxes from the likes of Roblox will adopt VR, but at the moment, this seems unlikely.